Developing a product or service that meets people’s needs is only the first step in being a business owner. In order to be profitable, you have to learn to sell your products and services and grow your business.
Some people will be receptive to your product or services and are ready to take advantage of the value you provide.
These are the leads that you’ll want to cater to. And you’ll start by developing your marketing plan, which will help you convince your leads that your products or service is right for them.
But not everybody is a good fit for your business. Some people will not have the budget to do business with you; some may not even be aware that they have a problem or a need for your product or service.
And some prospects will be skeptical of your claim.
Take Melanie for example: Melanie is a smart shopper, savvy. She knows all the tricks marketers use to get unsuspecting shoppers to part with their money. And she has just visited your small business.
She knows the trick of listing a product for $100 and giving a $15 discount, making customers feel happy they’re getting it for $85. She knows the real value is $85 – it might even be less.
So Melanie has a conversation with herself: “Do I really need this? Will it help me? Is it worth the money? Can I get it cheaper?”
For example, say you’re promoting an event. She wants to know, “Who is going to speak? What will I learn?” Your job is to answer those questions.
In his book, “The Irresistible Offer,” author and marketer, Mark Joyner, warns, “Don’t minimize the importance of this Unspoken Inner Dialogue. If you don’t address your buyer’s comfort level, your job of selling becomes significantly more difficult.”
Address her worries, so when she buys your product or service, she can answer the question, “Did you need this?”
How will she answer?
For example, if it’s a product teaching her online marketing, can she say, “This is going to really let me crush it on Google and Bing”?
See how allaying Melanie’s worries allows her to justify the purchase?
Here’s another example. Say you’re selling an online course teaching people how to earn an extra $50,000 a year. You focus on the benefits of earning an extra $50,000. When you reveal your course cost of $200, it seems incredible that anyone wouldn’t want to spend $200 to get $50,000.
Your prospect’s investment of only $200 justifies the value of your offer that’s going to put an extra $50,000 in their wallet or pocketbook.
Here are seven tips, plus examples, you can use to sell your products and services and grow your small business:
In your marketing copy, you start with a strong emotional appeal. You do this because you know people buy on emotion. So if you want to sell your products or services, you must provide your audience with some logical arguments for making that emotional buying decision.
As you know, and as you see above, a situation may occur where your prospects may have to defend themselves to someone for buying your webinar, the new kitchen appliance, your web design course or service, or whatever service or widget you’re selling.
For example, your prospect’s spouse, boss, or business partner may be critical of certain purchases. These prospects need reasons they can recite to justify the purchase and defend its value in case their judgment is criticized.
You should make it as easy as possible to help out these prospects. Give them a list of facts as reasons for buying.
For example, why do people buy expensive cars?
Prestige. Get women’s attention. Get admiration from neighbors and friends.
You see, buying anything is an emotional experience, which we then defend with logic.
Using the purchasing of a Mercedes as an example, Joe Sugarman illustrated this in his book, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word:
“You buy a Mercedes automobile emotionally but you then justify its purchase logically with its technology, safety, and resale value. So justifying its value is something that the customer wants to do before making an emotional purchase.”
Whether we’re marketers or not, we’re all customers. And we like to think we’re smart shoppers. As a marketer, you want to reinforce this sentiment.
Make people feel like the smart shoppers they believe themselves to be. Make them feel they’re getting a bargain, a steal. That they’d be fools not to buy. And arm your prospective customers with the emotional and logical justification for buying your product or service so they can justify their purchase to the interested parties.
Taking steps that reduce your prospects’ perceived risk goes a long way to enhance your product or service’s perceived value by establishing trust between you and your customers.
Your risk reversal is a reassurance to your prospects. You’re making it clear to them that they’re making the right decision, that you’re taking the risk from them and placing it on your shoulder.
In other words, you’re telling them they’re getting a product or service that YOU are guaranteeing will give them the desired outcome they’re looking for. If your solution doesn’t deliver the desired outcome, no worries.
In crafting your guarantee, you repeat the benefits of your offer. Lots of people base their buying decision on the guarantee. They read it carefully. They want to be sure they’ll get their money back if the product or service doesn’t deliver. And a good risk reversal also serves as a great way to defend the value and price of your product and service.
Using relevant bonuses is a great way to sell your products and services. If you’ve ever seen TV infomercials, you’ve heard the presenter say, “But wait! When you order (a pot for example), you also get …” And he begins to pile on the bonuses. Adding similar products.
And you watch the value get higher and higher. Then he tells you a total, $200, for example.
Then he says something like, “But you don’t have to pay $200. Not even $150.00. Not $100.”
He reminds you of all you’re getting. Then he tells you you’re getting all this for only two payments of $29.99. At this point, it seems to be a deal you can’t refuse.
When creating your bonus, you’ll want to make sure it’s related to your offer as much as possible.
Let’s suppose you sell an online course; you could provide a 30 minutes private session where you personally address concerns your client might have with implementing the course’s content.
One popular bonus course creators use to enhance the value of their product is membership in a Facebook group. Of course, membership is limited to those who purchase the course.
These are additional resources the customer can use. They create value, and they help remove the buyer’s remorse and defend the value and price of your product and service.
Considering all the added value, this product doesn’t seem expensive. Just make sure your bonus is of genuine value. And keep in mind what Mark Joyner said, “Never give anything away you wouldn’t otherwise sell.”
Scarcity is a big factor in why we buy. And when you add scarcity to your offer, you increase its perceived value, which leads to conversion.
Scarcity is a situation in which you have a limited number of resources along with a greater demand for that resource.
People like to have a one-of-a-kind item. Something that no one else has.
Tell people your product or service is limited or is for a limited time only, and they want it more.
For example, if you’re doing a launch, you add a deadline. Once the deadline is reached, the product goes down. Or you could have a discount where the price goes up after the deadline. Some marketers offer bonuses that expire when the deadline is reached.
What you’re doing is stimulating passive prospects closer to action. Since humans have a natural fear of loss, you let your prospects think if they fail to act now, they’ll miss out. And they’ll feel terrible.
Pricing your product or service the right way can help you grow your business. Many people equate high prices with quality. For them, a low-priced product means a low-quality product, and a high-priced product means a higher quality product. It’s fascinating the effect a higher price can have on the human psyche.
In the book, Influence, Cialdini tells the story of a jewelry store owner who had been having trouble selling an allotment of turquoise jewelry. Before departing on a buying trip, the owner left written instructions for her head salesperson to set everything in the display case by ½, but the salesperson mistook the “½” to mean “2” and increased the price.
When a group of tourists came into the store and saw the high-priced turquoise jewelry, they mistakenly equated the higher price with good quality. These tourists had no other way of judging the jewels except using price as their guide.
As marketers, we can garner something from this story when pricing and selling our products and services. As research shows, consumers appreciate excellence. In fact, they are willing to spend 17 percent more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service.
I am not suggesting that as marketers, we take advantage of customers’ tendency to equate higher prices with good quality, or customers’ willingness to patronize businesses that provide quality services. Assuming you provide quality products or services that provide value and help customers achieve what they’re trying to achieve, then, by all means, you should price accordingly. Premium products or services are expected to have a premium price tag.
There is little doubt that email marketing is effective in building rapport with your subscribers. The bond that email helps you create allows you to sell, and continue to sell your products and services to the people on your list and grow your business.
However, to develop a bond with your subscribers, you must be consistent in communicating with them. Luckily, there are ways of establishing rapport with your list that won’t stress you out.
You’ll need to create a lead magnet — something people get in exchange for their email address — otherwise, many people will not sign up. Your lead magnet can take the form of a book, a free report, or a sequence of emails covering a particular topic.
This approach requires email marketing software like MailChimp and ConvertKit to manage and communicate with your subscribers.
To get the most out of email marketing, you’ll need to send emails to your list daily or weekly. Use email marketing to let customers know of upcoming sales, new products, or important updates.
Some marketers and business owners write these emails themselves, while others take advantage of the benefits of hiring a professional copywriter to write their emails.
As consumers, when it comes to buying products and services, we rely on the opinions of peers who have experienced that particular product or service. These opinions are often in the form of online reviews.
When customers leave reviews on review sites, people believe them, and they project a more credible image than any of the business owner’s words could convey. Reviews play a role in 88% of online shoppers’ decisions to purchase.
There is no doubt that online reviews have the power to shape customers’ behavior and determine whether they buy a product or service or look elsewhere. According to a Spiegel Research Center study, a product with five reviews has a 270% better chance of being purchased than a product without any reviews.
The researchers found that “reviews had a greater impact on purchase likelihood for higher-priced items than cheaper ones” because the more expensive a product, the higher the risk the customer’s risk. Reviews help lessen the risk.
Putting a system in place to collect and display reviews can help you grow your business and sell your products and services.
Once you’ve opened a business and provide value and benefits to others, you have the source for referrals. Your family, friends, and satisfied customers can recommend you to their friends, family members, and colleagues — when the opportunity arises.
And it’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to sell your products and services and grow your business.
According to Nielsen’s research, 92% of consumers say they trust word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family members above all other forms of advertising.
Word of mouth marketing doesn’t just happen in person. It happens online, too. Every time a happy customer tweets or shares how she benefitted from your product or service, you’re benefiting from word-o- mouth marketing. Because when people see satisfied customers excited about a particular product or service, they’re more likely to buy.
Direct mail is a proven marketing tool for selling products and services. Despite the myth that direct mail is dead, direct mail is still an effective means of getting information into the hands of people who want to hear about your products or services.
As many marketers replace traditional direct mail with digital platforms, consumers are not being bombarded with direct mail, which could be a good thing because your mailings get more attention.
Instead of abandoning direct mail, marketers are using technology to integrate it into their marketing funnel, making it more effective. A direct mail piece could contain a website URL where someone could register for an event or download a report.
Direct mail can be expensive, especially when you’re not getting the results you’re looking for. So, before you send out your promotion to your entire list, you test a small sample with a smaller number of your target audience. If the test is successful, you then mail it to your more extensive list, knowing your investment will pay off.
Direct mail doesn’t have to be an elaborate and expensive campaign package. You don’t need multi-page sales letters, teasers, pop-ups, brochures, and other devices aimed to get attention.
Instead of a complex package, your direct mail can be as simple as a one-page sales letter or a postcard. Whether you want to sell your products and services and grow your business online or offline, direct mail works.
Whatever goods or services you’re selling, content marketing is an excellent tool for building awareness for your brand. SEO content allows you to drive traffic to your website, giving you more visibility, and more opportunities to sell your products and services.
If you want to use content marketing to sell your products and services, then you need to write for people and Google. That means writing content that’s optimized for search engines — SEO content. Content can come in the form of blog posts, guides, infographics, and videos. When you include keywords in your content you make it possible for your target audience to find you on Google.
However, to get the most out of your content, it’s best to create product pages for each product or service. And your product page should contain a description of your product, highlighting features and benefits.
Understanding your target audience will help you determine the type of content you should create and the keywords they’re using to find you.
Put your keywords in your content titles, subheads, and in the body copy. But make sure the copy sounds natural like you’re having a conversation.
To get help coming up with keyword ideas, you can use a keyword tool. There are many paid and free ones. Just do a little research to see which best meets your needs and budget right now.
Once you’re settled on creating content, it’s helpful to have a content calendar where you spell out when you will create and publish your content.
Part of being a successful business owner is acquiring new clients. And while getting new clients is essential, especially when you’re just starting out, retaining your current clients is even more important.
It cost more to acquire new customers than to maintain the ones you already have. Marketing to new clients takes time and effort. That’s time you could spend selling more of your products and services to your current customers, helping you achieve growth.
Try offering your customers a discount on another product or service that complements the one they bought from you, as TechSmith does.
Send an after-purchase follow-up message. Thank your customer for making the purchase and offer any educational resource you have that would help her get the most value out of the new purchase.
Respond to feedback. When customers take the time to give you feedback, acknowledge them and thank them for their patronage. Also, offer to make right whatever grievance they might have. This allows you to build loyalty and a good relationship.
Set Up a loyalty program. Use a system that lets you identify your most loyal customers. Provide them with incentives for sticking with you. Give them a heads up on upcoming promotions or special deals. This shows them you appreciate having their business, that you’re willing to cater to their needs, and you haven’t forgotten them.
If you want to sell your products and services and grow your business, try using these eleven simple tips. Growing your business and selling your products and services doesn’t have to be expensive or mind-numbingly tricky. But it isn’t easy. Success comes down to having the right product or service, getting it into the hands of people who will benefit from it, and over-delivering on your promises. Doing so encourages customers to buy from you again. And hopefully, refer you to their friends and family.
This article was first published on Terrence Blair and was published with permission.